Koshogatsu - A Time of Celebration
New Year is the largest, and perhaps the oldest celebration in Japan. Having both religious and secular associations, it is much like Christmas in Canada. In A.D. 604, the lunar calendar used in China was adopted for use by the Japanese government. This calendar had both a lunar component which regulated civic events and a solar component which was used for agricultural purposes. The new moon marked the beginning of the official months but date discrepancies existed between official celebrations and folk celebrations. Using the lunar calendar the New Year was to begin at the second new moon after the winter solstice. This was the "Great New Year" or shogatsu. At the full moon two weeks later, there was another celebration called "Little New Year" or koshogatsu. Traditionally, these dates would occur sometime from the end of January to the middle of February. However, when the government adopted the Gregorian calendar, shogatsu became associated with the first day of January and koshogatsu fell on the 15th of January.
usurped by politicians
daylight savings time
© Janice Adcock
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